The Falkirk Wheel - Alternative Cruise
An alterantive trip via the falkirk Wheel is offered by a narrow boat. It i cludes an extra set of lcoks and costs £9.00 - probably better value than from the visitor centre actually.
the boat is moored on the Forth and Clyde canal just as you walk up from the main car park. Minimum passenger numbers apply.
"The Amazing Feat of Engineering"
The Falkirk Wheel is an feat of engineering which shows the true ability of man to overcome obsticals. It is the worlds' first and only roatating boat lift.
As explained by the wheel website:
"The Falkirk Wheel is the spectacular centrepiece of the £84.5 million ‘Millennium Link', the UK’s largest canal restoration project, developed by British Waterways to reconnect the Union Canal with the Forth & Clyde Canal, re-establishing east to west coast access for boat."
A trip on the Wheel will take you approximately 30 minutes round trip. This includes the ascending to the above canal and traveling down the canal to the basin at the bottom of the connecting locks. The turning around and making the trip again through the tunnel and then decending back to the basin at the bottom of the wheel. The cost of this trip is approximately 8 pounds each person. The Captain and Crew are curtious and knowledgable (of course) about the Wheel.
The visitor center has some information about the surrounding canals and there is a good size gift shop.
There is, also, a walk which you can take up the hill, through the tunnel, and up to the locks above.
"Entrance to the wheel"
The Falkirk Wheel Visitor Centre is open as follows:
1st September - 31st October 06
7 DAYS A WEEK 09:30 - 18:00
1st - 30th November 2006
Monday - Friday 10:00 - 16:30
Saturday and Sunday 10:00 - 18:00
1st December 2006 - 7th January 2007
Monday - Tuesday 10:00 - 16:30
Wednesday - Friday 11:30 - 20:00
Saturday - Sunday 10:00 - 20:00
Exceptions are as follows: On Christmas Eve and Hogmanay open from 10:00 -16:00
Closed on 25th + 26th December 06 and the 1st and 2nd January 07
8th January - 2nd February 2007
Site and Centre closed to the public for annual maintenance.
3rd February - 31st March 2007
Monday - Friday 10:00 - 16:30
Saturday - Sunday 10:00 - 18:00
Admission to the Visitor Centre is free ( special events such as The Scottish Boat Show may incur an admission charge. )
"A Group of Boaters"
These four "older" (I say this with all appreciation for their knowledge of life) were coming into the basin at the bottom of the Wheel from the canals below. The four of them had made the journey by themselves. I am sure for the locals this was nothing to brag about (and maybe for some of you) but for me it was a moment that made me appreciate the adventerousness within them to take on the challenge of navigating up the canals of Scotland on their own after having already tackled the challenges of life.
Very Big Wheel
Falkirk is a traditionally industrially based, medium sized, town about halfway between Glasgow and Edinburgh. It is, in truth, the kind of place few tourists venture, because there is not much reason to visit. Claims to fame were the Carron Ironworks (now closed like virtually all of the heavy industry) and Falkirk Football Club. But there is now something world beating. With the regeneration of the canals as a Millennium project, Falkrk is now home to The Falkirk Wheel, the worlds largest rotating boat lift.
The Falkirk Steeple is the traditional symbol of Falkirk, situated right at the heart of the town, on the High St. Not attached to a church, it has been many things over its history, and is currently a booking office for council-involved events such as concerts. Features on the badge of Falkirk FC and the town crest, along with the motto 'Touch Ane, Touch A'. (Roughly translated as 'touch one Falkirk Bairn, and the rest will give you a doing').
Then again, the high flats around Callander Park are something that can be taken as a landmark of Falkirk from quite a distance..